Miisa Mink is the founder and chief doer at DrivenWoman – a fast growing women’s network where women support and keep one another accountable to their bigger life goals, and the creator of Festival Of Doers, an amazing day celebrating women who step outside their comfort zone to live the life they truly want. She won the We Are The City/ Sunday Times ‘Rising Stars’ award in Diversity category in 2017.
After successful career in international branding and design, DrivenWoman was born as a result of her inner need to redefine her values and beliefs when the traditional success formula did not resonate anymore. DrivenWoman is now a fast growing ‘ecosystem’, helping hundreds of women embrace success in broader terms; living fulfilling, balanced life whilst following a work path with a deeper meaning.
Somehow deep down inside I always knew my career would be a career less ordinary. I shun convention and I’m always ready to break the mould. Eager explorer to the world, I get myself into all sorts of trouble. One of my super powers is pushing myself outside of my comfort zone – that’s where I grow!
I was born in Finland to an ordinary middle class family and grew up in a small unremarkable town just outside the capital city, Helsinki. My father worked and like all good mothers in the 70s, my mum stayed at home and didn’t follow her dreams. This of course, had been the fate of her mother and grandmother, forming a good base for a ‘mother wound’ to develop, an opportunity I haven’t missed to use for personal growth years later. Releasing the generations of blocked creativity and frustration has allowed me to do the deeply meaningful and impactful work I do now.
Whatever pain you carry from your ancestor’s path, always remember this – it is there for you to resolve and release. It’s not your problem, it is your purpose!
An early rebel, I dropped out of high school – twice! The teaching environment didn’t fit me so I completed 2.5 years of high school studies at an evening school in one year with highest marks and got into the best business school to study international business. I have never become a victim of a situation or an environment. I’m always looking to remove myself and find or create a new environment where I can flourish.
After finishing my MSc degree in Economics and International Business I thought success was a fancy title, a big car and walking around corporate corridors in a great suit and high heels. So little did I know back then… But the gift of life is that you can re-define what success means to you at any given day. Luckily my choices have also always taken me to many great adventures. I’ve lived in Poland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. I have travelled around the world and thrown myself into the deep waters of gaining experience from LA to Hong Kong.
15 years ago I founded a wildly successful branding agency for a global advertising network, making it the fastest growing and the most profitable internal agency launch in the network’s history. I was very proud of what I was doing – pushing for innovative design solutions, bold branding and training up young talent. We won almost every client there was to win in Finland and soon I found myself opening offices across Europe spanning from Moscow to Brussels and Istanbul.
But new winds were blowing and after giving birth to very energetic twin boys it was time for new adventures. I have been involved in many start-ups both as an advisor and an investor. I’ve written two books, led a Scandinavian style coffee shop chain in Central London, launched an online jewellery tech start-up and pushed myself outside my comfort zone so many times that it makes me dizzy.
I’ve had successes but most importantly, I have failed. Every set back has taught me much more than any business book or an online course ever will.
Yet everything in my path has simply prepared me for that one special day when I allowed myself to be brave enough to let my true soul’s purpose shine through – I created an environment where women can become ‘doers’ and find their inner ‘drive’. This is not about achieving your to-do list or being busy, an epidemic way too widely spread these days.
When we find our drive we let go of expectations of others and start serving our own internal spark, that glowing thing of wisdom that leads you to your purpose. When we become ‘doers’ we let go of fear of failure because then our dreams and goals are much more important than worrying about the obstacles we might face along our journey or what the society expects of us. And oh dear, aren’t there so many expectations placed on us women!
I know now why I’m here. I have within me the qualities and the light to enable women take that step into the unknown, like I have done so many times before. And keep going, as the highest quality is that of commitment to your own dreams.
I have become the person always I wanted to be. I have found my calling, I’m bravely following my heart. I have built a growing business and a thriving community based on what I believe in. I have stepped up and become visible. I have made bold moves and allowed my internal light to shine.
I have stepped into my power. You can do it too.